Brown Brothers Motorcycles

Brown Brothers Motorcycles

The company produced the Brown motorcycles from 1902 to 1915.

  • 1888 Company established.

    1897 The company was registered on 28 May, to take over the business of the firm of the same name, general hardware, cycle accessories, general warehousemen etc.

    1902 Having been component suppliers to the trade, the brothers produced their first motorcycle. Using typically primitive frames, direct-belt drive and braced forks, they mounted 2hp, 2¾ hp and 3½ hp Minerva engines vertically. Following on from these came a 5hp V-twin.

    Report from the 1902 Stanley Show

    Stand 28.

    Brown Bros. show is one bristling with interest for the motor-cyclist. Five Brown motor-bicycles are shown, including the old pattern 1.75 horse-power, and the new vertical motor of 2 horse-power. This has a spray carburetter, and very large tank capacity. Control is effected by two levers only. One machine has the 2 h.p. Minerva engine fitted. Car motors of various powers, and an 8 h.p. Brown car are shown. A motor-tricycle on De Dion lines finds a place, and in addition to these every motor fitting or accessory in practical use is shown, including coils, accumulators, standard parts of motors, lamps, jacks, motor clothing, lubricators, belting, electric wire, frame parts for motor-bicycles, lubricants, pumps, chains, gear wheels, etc.

    Motor Cycling, 26th November 1902

    Report from the 1903 Stanley Show

    Brown Bros'. specialities for 1904.

    The 1904 Brown motor-bicycle will be made in three powers, viz., 2 h.p. (64 by 70 mm.), 2.75 h.p. (74 by 80 mm.), and 3.5 h.p. (82 by 90 mm.). The prices of these will be £38, £42, and £49 respectively. The motors are fitted with mechanically operated valves, and the fly-wheels are 0.75 in. larger in diameter than formerly. The new Longuemare carburetter is fitted, and also an improved exhaust lifter. The machines are all fitted with a combined girder and triple head. The driving rim is secured by a special system of spoking. There are many improvements in the tank details, and an additional compartment is provided for a spare battery. The silencer is also made on improved lines. The firm will exhibit at the Stanley.

    The Motor magazine, 18th November 1903

    1908 There was now an option of a two-speed gearbox and all-chain drive, but the braced forks were still unsprung.

    1910 Druid forks were adopted and the range was widened to include a selection of powers, in either single or V-twin, and transmission systems.

1910 Olympia Show Report

Brown Bros., Ltd.
Gt. Eastern Street, London. Stands No. 173-177.

The Brown motor-bicycle for 1911 has an engine of slightly larger bore and stroke than its predecessor of 1910, the dimensions being now 86 mm. by 86 mm., instead of 85 mm. square. A very excellent feature is the provision of adjustments to the valve tappets. The crankshaft rotates in ball bearings. The magneto is located in front of the crankcase, over the exhaust silencer, and the handlebar controlled carburetter is close up to the back of the cylinder. The top tube meets the bottom one at the head, the upper part of the socket being strengthened by a web. This brings the top down to 29ins. from the ground, about as low as it is possible to get it without bends.

The drive includes a rubber belt and variable pulley. The front fork is of the double row type, and the upper end is linked to the top and bottom of the head, which is suspended by other links from a collar bearing on a central main spiral spring, and surmounted by a buffer spring. The lamp bracket is specially strong, and is incorporated with the handlebar lug. The T.T. Brown is a good deal lighter than the full roadster, and is sent out without pedalling gear, but either a rigid or a spring fork can be had, to meet the rider's wishes. Messrs. Brown Bros. are open to appoint agents here they have no representatives and terms will be supplied on application.
Olympia Show, November 1910

  • 1914 Wholesale Cycle and Motor Material Manufacturers and Merchants. Specialities: motor cycle parts and accessories, cycle fittings and accessories, tools for motors etc. Employees 350.

    Note: After World War I, the motorcycles were sold as the Vindec, but there was no association with the Vindec Special (VS) VS make.

    This company was a supplier of parts and fittings and in the early years the Vindec name was not advertised or used very much.

    1914 Late in the year the name appeared on a 225cc two-stroke model with a two-speed gearbox and chain-cum-belt transmission. They also listed a 4hp V-twin, with an overhead inlet valve, Bosch magneto, and various transmission options.
    Brown 1914 Models

    1915 They were now using either their own or Precision engines only. Production of Brown motorcycles ceased.

    1916 The two-stroke was still listed and the twin had a 6hp JAP engine driving a three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox.

    Post-war. A 225cc two-stroke single was listed.

    1919 March. Adverts for Electric self-starters and Berdea carburettors. Issued catalogue on motorcycle accessories.

    1920 A 976cc sv JAP V-twin was added.

    1922 Those models carried on into that year.

    1923 The two-stroke was replaced by a 292cc sv JAP model finished in art grey.

    It is probable that most Vindec machines were bought-in designs from established manufacturers, finished and badged under the Vindec name. Some models of that period strongly resembled Rex-Acme machines.

    1924 The big twin went and a 170cc two-stroke joined the JAP single for one season.

    1925 The twin returned for that year only, along with the 292cc sv model.

    1926 The 292cc sv model was enlarged to 300cc, and another lightweight two-stroke of 147cc was added for one season.

    1927-1929 It was the 300cc sv JAP machine that carried them through to their final year of 1929.

    1937 Aircraft fittings.

    1939 Aircraft Industry Suppliers

    1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Accessories and components; Garage equipment. Of Eastern Street, London.


MESSRS. BROWN BROS., LTD., have during the past few years enjoyed an excellent reputation as the vendors of first-class motor bicycles, so that it is not surprising that their 1907 models still maintain this high standard, with the addition of one or two important improvements and refinements.

Like all up-to-date firms, they are aware of the importance of turning out a thoroughly good two-speed gear. A single-cylinder (an illustration of which we herewith reproduce) is fitted with an epicyclic gear giving two speeds operated by the vertical lever, which is seen fixed to the side of the crank case. Pushing the lever forward applies a band brake around the gear drum, which puts the low gear in action.

With the lever vertical the engine is free, and drawn back the high gear is in action the whole of the gear being then locked and revolving as an extra flywheel. The counter-shaft bracket is provided with a swing adjustment, which thus allows the short chain to be tightened or loosened as occasion requires.

A starting handle is supplied in every case with this gear. No pedals are fitted, but comfortable footrests are supplied, which are attached to the down tube of the frame An interesting fitting on this machine is the petrol tap, which has two functions; firstly to admit petrol into the carburetter, and, secondly, to act as a drain tap.

Not only as regards two-speed gears are Messrs. Brown Bros, up-to-date, but being fully alive to the importance of reliability, they also fit magneto ignition to their 1907 motor bicycles. For the control of this a very neat and efficient switch has been provided, which is attached to the handle-bar...

The Motor Cycle

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle